I have had an interest in American Sign Language from an early age; I was one of the only Girl Guides in my unit to get my American Sign Language badge. A few years ago, I decided to continue my education in American Sign Language and got my American Sign Language Certificate from Mohawk College. I also have Levels 1 and 2 American Sign Language from the Canadian Hearing Society.
When my daughter was born in 2009, we discussed teaching our daughter ASL as a second language. I had done lots of reading about all the benefits of teaching babies ASL and since I already knew the language it made it that much easier to apply to our lives. I also enlisted the participation of my immediate family. They were skeptical at first but willing to try. I taught them 10 basic signs to use when around my daughter, Samantha.
By the time Samantha was 11 months old she could sign almost 20 words and speak over 50! There was no frustration in the communication between her and any of the family members. Those skeptics, by the way were won over when they saw the communication skills of Samantha. Samantha is now 13 years old and we still use ASL to communicate sometimes.
Having seen firsthand how effective teaching a child ASL can be I decided to pass on that knowledge to other care givers. I am very passionate about teaching others how to better communicate with children before they can even speak. It is an amazing feeling to see the children sign their first word and know that they understand you and vice versa!